Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rockin' Dopsie & The Twisters - Zy-de-blue-Play The Blues

If Clifton Chenier was the king of zydeco music, Rockin' Dopsie (pronounced doopsie), with his unequaled proficiency on the button accordion, was its crown prince. Like Chenier, Dopsie was devoted to preserving the old French songs that form the basis of zydeco. He was born Alton Rubin in Carencro, LA, a small town near Lafayette. He spent much of his childhood picking cotton and working in the cane fields. His father played accordion and performed at local weekend house parties. He frequently brought young Rubin along. His father gave him his first small accordion when Rubin was 14. He then told his son that he must teach himself. A lefty, Rubin played the accordion upside down, learning tunes off the radio. It didn't take long before he began playing parties and gaining a reputation as an even better musician than his father. Rubin eventually moved to Lafayette and began performing in blues clubs in the '50s with his cousin Chester Zeno on washboard. During the day, Rubin worked as a hod carrier. He took his stage name from a Chicago dancer who had come to perform in Lafayette. Like his namesake Doopsie, Rubin also had a reputation as an excellent hoofer. Later, the accordion player was given the name Rockin' to describe his lively playing. Over the years, Rockin' Dopsie performed zydeco in clubs, and despite Chenier's advice, continued working day jobs, eventually becoming an electrical contractor. Throughout the '50s and '60s, Dopsie occasionally recorded with independent labels. He recorded his debut album with Sam Charters for Sweden's Sonet label. Over the next decade, Dopsie recorded five more albums for the label. Released in Europe, Dopsie soon became an extremely popular performer. He began touring Europe twice annually in 1979. It wasn't until well into the '80s that Dopsie's music began garnering attention back home. His U.S. career got a big boost in 1985 when he recorded "That Was Your Mother" with Paul Simon on the latter's landmark Graceland album. Later, Dopsie would also record with other pop singers including Cyndi Lauper and Bob Dylan. He has also done television commercials and appeared in a few films, including Delta Heat. He continued performing and recording through his death in 1993. His son, David Rubin, has become a noted metal washboard player and his other son, Alton Rubin, Jr., is a drummer. Both performed in their father's band. (Allmusic - Sandra Brennan)
Thanks go to Rob F. for sharing this LP.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lightnin' Slim, Baby Boy Warren & Boogie Woogie Red Autographs

Concert ticket for the 5th of February 1972 at "De Bajes (a.k.a The Copper Station)" in Amstelveen.

Concert ticket for the 20th of May 1972 at "De Bajes (a.k.a The Copper Station)" in Amstelveen.

I just bought a pile of blues posters and the seller was very kind and gave me several  autographed tickets and I thought I'd share them with you.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Various - Carolina Country Blues

Henry Johnson
- Crow Jane
Guitar Shorty
- Hold On Baby
Henry Johnson
- My Mother's Grave Must Be Found
Peg Leg Sam
- Fox Chase
Willie Trice
- Baby, Baby
Henry Johnson
- Hey, Noah
- Had A Little Woman

Henry Johnson
- Union County Slide (instr.)
Willie Trice
- Shine On
Henry Johnson
- Step It Up And Went
Guitar Shorty
- Scat Boogie
Henry Johnson
- Me And My Dog
Willie Trice
- Poor Boy Long Ways From Home
Elester Anderson
- Further Down The Road
Henry Johnson
- Sittin' Down Thinkin'
rec. March 1973 live at Chapel Hill Festival, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC by Pete Lowry
Thanks go to Stefan for all his work at


Frits's Tapes Number 69 & 70

Tape 69:

Tape 70:

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - The Nashville Session 1965

Clarence Brown was a fine singer and extraordinary instrumentalist, comfortable interpreting a wide range of genres, including the blues, cajun, country, big band, and jazz fusion. Born April 18, 1924, in Vinton, Louisiana, he was raised in Orange, Texas (near Beaumont), where his father taught him to play the guitar and fiddle. He was recruited to play drums with a traveling show prior to serving in the military.
Once discharged he became a well-known guitarist in the San Antonio area, spurring music entrepreneur Don Robey to offer him a job at his Houston nightclub. Robey was sufficiently impressed with the reception Brown received there to arrange for a recording session with the Los Angeles–based Aladdin label on August 21, 1947. When Robey established Peacock Records in 1948, he had Brown regularly do sessions until 1961; many are now regarded as Texas blues guitar classics.
During the 1960s, Brown began negotiating a wider range of genres, recording country-inflected material for Chess (finally issued as an LP, The Nashville Session 1965, in 1983) as well as jazz and rock hybrids. While amassing an impressive studio legacy, he recorded for the French-based Black and Blue and Barclay labels, as well as Red Lightnin', MCA, Rounder, Blues Boy, and Alligator. Countless other labels, including Ace and Evidence, have reissued his vintage early work. Brown released his last album, Timeless, in 2004.


Billy Boy Arnold - Sinner's Prayer

Born in Chicago rather than in Mississippi (as many of his musical forefathers were), young Arnold gravitated right to the source in 1948. He summoned up the courage to knock on the front door of his idol, harmonica great John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, who resided nearby. Sonny Boy kindly gave the lad a couple of harp lessons, but their relationship was quickly severed when Williamson was tragically murdered. Still in his teens, Arnold cut his debut 78 for the extremely obscure Cool logo in 1952. "Hello Stranger" went nowhere but gave him his nickname when its label unexpectedly read "Billy Boy Arnold."
Arnold made an auspicious connection when he joined forces with Bo Diddley and played on the shave-and-a-haircut beat specialist's two-sided 1955 debut smash "Bo Diddley"/"I'm a Man" for Checker. That led, in a roundabout way, to Billy Boy's signing with rival Vee-Jay Records (the harpist mistakenly believed Leonard Chess didn't like him). Arnold's "I Wish You Would," utilizing that familiar Bo Diddley beat, sold well and inspired a later famous cover by the Yardbirds. That renowned British blues-rock group also took a liking to another Arnold classic on Vee-Jay, "I Ain't Got You." Other Vee-Jay standouts by Arnold included "Prisoner's Plea" and "Rockinitis," but by 1958, his tenure at the label was over.
Other than an excellent Samuel Charters-produced 1963 album for Prestige, More Blues on the South Side, Arnold's profile diminished over the years in his hometown (though European audiences enjoyed him regularly) and he first ended up driving a bus in his hometown of Chicago, then working as a parole officer for the state of Illinois. Fortunately, that changed: Back Where I Belong restored this Chicago harp master to prominence, and Eldorado Cadillac drove him into the winner's circle a second time. After a six year lull between recordings, 2001's Boogie 'n' Shuffle on Stony Plain found Arnold still in fine form, backed by Duke Robillard and his band on a set of rough and ready blues.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lester Williams - Dowling Street Hop

Though little known outside of the Houston blues circuit where he made his home for several decades, vocalist/guitarist Lester Williams was a local phenomenon during the early '50s whose success even led to an appearance at Carnegie Hall. Born in Groveton, Texas on June 24, 1920, he grew up infatuated with the sound of T-Bone Walker, whose style Williams consciously emulated; after serving in World War II, he formed his own combo, and in 1949 signed on with the Houston-based Macy's Records. The label's then-stockboy, Steve Poncio, produced Williams' debut single "Winter Time Blues"; it became a regional hit, although subsequent efforts were less successful. However, by 1951 Poncio owned and operated his own distributorship, United Distributors, and through various channels struck up a business relationship with Specialty Records owner Art Rupe; as a result, Williams joined the Specialty stable, and with Poncio again behind the boards scored his biggest hit in 1952 with "I Can't Lose with the Stuff I Use," a track later covered by B.B. King. The song was another regional smash, and was sufficiently popular on a national basis to land the singer on a February 1953 Carnegie Hall bill which also included Dinah Washington, Billy Eckstine and Nat King Cole. Williams' follow-ups failed to catch on, however, and by 1954 he was regularly performing on Houston station KLVL and touring throughout the South. He later recorded on Duke before one final date for Imperial in 1956; in the years to follow he remained a staple of the Houston club circuit, touring Europe four years prior to his death on November 13, 1990.

Willie Trice - Blue & Rag'd

This LP collects recordings made of the North Carolina singer and guitarist Willie Trice by Peter B. Lowry in the period July, 1971--December, 1973.  The music that Willie Trice plays here is superlatively strong and in a personal style of considerable complexity, to the extent that much of what Willie Trice played can be fairly said to be distinctively his own.  That degree of originality and particularity of voice is very rare, in any style.

At the time at which Peter Lowry and Bruce Bastin found Willie Trice, after a tip from Buddy Moss, Willie had gone through a period in which he had not done a lot of playing. Moreover, he had serious physical challenges, and had recently lost both of his legs from the knee down due to diabetic complications.  That having been said, it is apparent from the first notes that Willie Trice plays on the LP that there is no need to make allowances for his infirmities in listening to his music.  Far from being the pale memory of a once-great player's music, the renditions here are muscular and alertly engaged, from the beginning of the program right through to its end.
How can Willie Trice's sound be characterized?  Willie's singing voice was a light baritone with a bright sort of overtone to it, and his delivery was very country. He was not an urban guy and made no bones about it. His tone on the guitar was big, full, and ringing--not sloppy, but also not being struck carefully to avoid mistakes.  Willie's most distinctive quality, it seems to me, resided in his phrasing and sense of time. In these areas, he was so much his own man, and definitely not a member of the musical herd adhering to formal conventions.  As a result, his phrasing could be angular, metrically irregular and yet swinging and danceable. Indeed, the infectiousness of his rhythm often masks the thorniness of his conception until you listen with an ear to figure out what he's doing, at which point you say, "Wait a second!"  He was fond of inserting chordal resolutions into forms in places where you are not accustomed to hearing them.  He was not a player who relegated the thumb of his right hand to any kind of regular time-keeping; it's the sign of a player very secure in his rhythmic sense, for you don't have to play the pulse for it to be there, ticking away, whether or not you state it explicitly.  In this respect, Willie Trice's playing is like Buddy Moss's or Lemon Jefferson's, and in a couple of instances it shares an even less common trait with Lemon's treatment of time:  a temporary suspension of pulse altogether, so that the musical idea is swimming freely until the time when he chooses to re-introduce the pulse.  It takes confidence to be comfortable choosing such a vertiginous course, but when it works, it's like magic.  Good for Lemon and good for Willie, and may the rest of us keep striving!

Post:     Corrected link

Frits's Tapes Number 67 & 68

Tape 67:

Tape 68:

For the fans of blues and r&b 45's more from the Frits's vault.

Chris Kenner - The Name Of The PLace

Born in the farming community of Kenner, Louisiana, upriver from New Orleans, Kenner sang gospel music with his church choir, and moved to New Orleans in his teens. In 1955 he made his first recordings, for a small label, Baton Records, without success; and in 1957 recorded his "Sick and Tired" for the Imperial Records label; Fats Domino covered it the next year and the song became a hit. "Rocket to the Moon" and "Life Is Just a Struggle," both cut for the Ron Records label, were other notable songs from this period.
Moving to another New Orleans label, Instant, he began to work with pianist and arranger Allen Toussaint. In 1961, this collaboration produced "I Like It Like That", his first and biggest hit, peaking at #2 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart (covered in 1965 by The Dave Clark Five) and "Something You Got" (covered by Wilson Pickett, Alvin Robinson, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Chuck Jackson, Earl Grant, Maxine Brown, Bobby Womack, The Moody Blues on their 1965 debut album, Fairport Convention and Bruce Springsteen). "I Like It Like That" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[1] In 1962 he produced his most enduring song, "Land of a Thousand Dances," which was recorded by Cannibal & the Headhunters, Thee Midniters, Wilson Pickett, The Action and Patti Smith.
Kenner continued to record for Instant and for various other small local labels, including many of his lesser-known songs from the 1960s, such as "My Wife," "Packing Up" and "They Took My Money". He released an album on Atlantic Records in 1966; the Collectors' Choice label reissued the LP, Land of a Thousand Dances, on CD in 2007.
Chris Kenner died from a heart attack in 1976, at the age of 46.